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Paralegal and Legal Assistant Program @ NCC

What is a Legal Citation?

 It is a standard language that allows one writer to refer to legal authorities with sufficient precision and generality that others can follow the references. Because writing by lawyers and judges is so dependent on such references, it is a language of abbreviations and special terms.

Legal Citations

Federal Administrative Code (rules from federal agencies) are located in the Code of Federal Regulations or "C.F.R."  

Federal Example: 29 C.F.R. Sec. 1625.1 (2004)

29 C.F.R. Sec. 1625.1 2004
Title No. Code of Federal Regulations Section (or section symbol) and specific section number Year


Case Citations
Most case citations for print reporters work the same.  Below is an example of a

Citation example for a United States Supreme Court case: 123 U.S. 456
Decoding the citation format:




Volume #

Name of the set of court reporters

Page #


Statutory Citations

Federal statute example: 28 U.S.C. § 1983
Decoding the citation format:




Title #

Name of the set of statutes

Section #

New York State statute example:

New York State has it's own legal citation style manual for legal citation.  It can be found here: